Robert M. Jenkins Scholarship

Robert M. Jenkins Memorial Reservoir Research Scholarship

The Reservoir Committee (RC), a technical committee of the Southern Division AFS, created the Robert M. Jenkins Memorial Reservoir Research Scholarship in 1997. The Scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to graduate students conducting reservoir-related fisheries research in the southeastern United States which show exceptional progress in their research, education, and professional endeavors.

One or two $500 scholarships will be awarded annually depending upon sponsorship funding and number of applicants. The recipient(s) of the Jenkins Scholarship receive a check and will be recognized at the Spring SDAFS business meeting. The awards will be made directly to the student and not the student’s educational institution. It can be used for any aspect of graduate education including, but not limited to, tuition, textbooks, equipment, travel or living expenses. It is not intended to replace any funding obligated to the student.

Selection criteria are based on research, education, professional and civic activities, among other things. Research and education activities can be associated with any aspect of reservoir ecosystem management. Professional activities in fishery-related student organizations, AFS Chapters, and similar organizations are desirable. Applicable public services include any voluntary activities but those pertaining to conservation and fishing are most desirable. A committee of RC members will review applications and present recommendations to the RC Chair for approval. All application materials must be received by December 1st each year.


2019 Recipients:

The Reservoir Technical Committee is proud to recognize Robert Eckelbecker from Auburn University and Stephen Parker from North Carolina State University as recipients of the 2019 Robert M. Jenkins Memorial Reservoir Research Scholarship sponsored by American Aquatics, and Fishiding.

Robert is working on his M.S. under the tutelage of Dr. Matthew Catalano. His work compares different creel survey methods at three Alabama reservoirs. An innovative part of his project explores the utility of using digital time-lapse cameras to supplement reservoir creel survey data. This project has the potential to transform conventional methodology while reducing labor costs and providing accurate information for future creel surveys. Robert finished his fieldwork this spring and is currently synthesizing data. He plans to graduate in December of this year and pursue a doctoral degree beginning in 2020. Ultimately, he plans to become a college professor and train future fisheries professionals.

Stephen is conducting his M.S. research under the guidance of Dr. Jesse Fischer. Stephen’s research involves evaluating population dynamics of striped bass from twelve reservoirs in North Carolina. His project goal is to better understand variation among striped bass reservoir population characteristics and their relationships to biotic and abiotic environmental conditions. This study will provide necessary information to guide future management decisions and optimize stocking strategies. Stephen will be graduating July 2019 and has accepted a doctoral position at the University of Florida studying gulf sturgeon restoration under the supervision of Drs. Rob Ahrens and Bill Pine. Stephen hopes to pursue a career in academia or research with a governmental agency.

Both Robert, Stephen, and the sponsors were recognized at SDAFS business meeting in Galveston. They each received a $500 check and a copy of Reservoir Fish Habitat Management, courtesy the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership. Congratulations Robert and Stephen!



Scholarship Application Process:

  1. Application materials must be received by close of business December 1. This includes the Application Form and associated documents and letter of recommendation. Application materials should be submitted via email to Please contact Jeremy to make other arrangements for application material delivery, if necessary. The RC scholarship committee chair will distribute the application packets to the review committee.
  2. Fill out the Application Form.
  3. Provide a copy of your research proposal which indicates relevance to reservoir fisheries science in the southeastern United States.
  4. Provide a letter of introduction and recommendation from the applicant’s major professor or faculty advisor. This letter should state how long and in what capacity they have known the applicant. In addition, the letter should address the applicant’s promise as a future fisheries scientist. It should be submitted via email to the scholarship committee chair (see info above).
  5. After the deadline has passed, the review committee will rank the compiled information for the applicants and present their selection to the RC Chair for approval. Scholarship recipients will be notified upon RC Chair approval and are encouraged to attend the Spring SDAFS meeting to present their research and be recognized.


Application Deadline: December 1 annually.

Jenkins Scholarship Application (Word)

Jenkins Scholarship Application Form (pdf)